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4 Ways to Make Your Wedding Guests Happy PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 29 August 2014 09:02
The Perfect Wedding is the One Everyone Remembers
for All the Right Reasons

Brides-to-be have long checklists for planning their big day. Dress, flowers, venue, vows, will there be a sit-down dinner or hors d’oeuvres and crudités? Who will be in the wedding party?

“Every bride wants her wedding to be perfect and by that, many mean that they want the event itself and themselves to be absolutely beautiful,” says Eric Gulbrandson, a wedding photographer and author of the new book, “Dream Wedding Secrets: The All Important G.S.F,” (

“But a perfect wedding is also one that people remember months and years later as a wonderful event where they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Think about it – no bride wants her wedding remembered as a disaster!”

The secret is to put a high priority on what Gulbrandson calls the G.S.F. – Guest Satisfaction Factor.

“It’s how others perceive your wedding,” he says. “Most brides do want their guests to be able to enjoy their wedding, but they overlook the G.S.F. because all the advice is geared toward beauty and budgets.”

Gulbrandson interviewed hundreds of wedding guests and compiled more than 200 do’s and don’ts for brides-to-be for ensuring a high G.S.F. Among them:

•  If you invite children, arrange a supervised activity area for them. Couples often include children on their guest list because they contribute to the family atmosphere and celebration, but weddings are not child-centered events. Kids get bored; the wedding day is often a long one with extended periods of sitting quietly and an abundance of adults consuming alcohol. Help parents and children enjoy the event by arranging for a supervised activity area on the outskirts of the reception. A couple of teenaged relatives may appreciate earning some money for overseeing arts and crafts projects and games.  Hiring relatives for this job will help keep the costs reasonable.

•  Don’t make costumes a requirement for your themed wedding. Whether you’ve got your heart set on a Renaissance faire or zombie nuptials, don’t require your guests to shell out money buying or renting costumes! Yes, you can ease any financial burden by requesting they wear costumes in lieu of buying gifts, but that doesn’t address the potential for physical and emotional discomfort. Sure, all your friends may be LARPers, but if Uncle Howard and Aunt Betty are not, they may not enjoy wearing capes and carrying swords to your ceremony.

•  Don’t plan your wedding for a holiday weekend. Occasionally, brides plan their wedding for a three-day holiday weekend thinking it will help out-of-towners who want to attend. However, it also boosts the odds of local guests being out of town! Given that most working people have only two guaranteed three-day weekends a year, many plan ahead for them. Additionally, hotel and rental car prices tend to go up during holidays, and traffic doubles. Play it safe by avoiding calendar holidays and, of course, Super Bowl Sunday.

•  With food and drink, if you have to choose between quantity and quality, choose quantity. Nobody will mind if the chicken skewers aren’t the best they ever had, but they will if you run out of them! While taste and presentation are important, having enough food and drink available throughout the event is more important than a glamorous presentation. If you have children at your wedding, you can keep costs down -- and make them happy -- by planning a separate menu of, say, chicken nuggets and macaroni-and-cheese.

•  When it’s all said and done, don’t ruin your perfect wedding by failing to follow through with that time-honored (for good reason) custom of sending thank-you notes. “Technically, accepted protocol allows guests a year after the wedding to send a gift, so you may be on the receiving end for quite some time!” Gulbrandson says. “Keep a list and send handwritten thank-you’s as quickly as you can. Most guests and experts agree that one to three months after the wedding is fine, but my advice is to get on it quickly!”

About Eric Gulbrandson

Eric Gulbrandson is a longtime wedding photographer who began compiling interviews for “Dream Wedding Secrets: The All-Important G.S.F.,” (, in 2009. As a wedding photographer, he heard many happy guests – and many unhappy ones – and realized that most publications offering wedding advice focused on either making the bride and wedding more beautiful, or planning the wedding on a limited budget. When interviewing guests, he asked one primary question, “What makes a wedding great or not so great for you as a guest?”  He compiled thousands of stories and responses to derive consensus opinions on essential Guest Satisfaction Factors.

Save The Date - The Salvation Army Hosts Free Continuing Education Program on Estate and Charitable Planning on September 16th PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Holly Nomura   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 15:09

Quad Cities, USA - On Tuesday, September 16th from 9:00am – 3:30pm The Salvation Army will host a webinar on New Paradigms in Estate and Charitable Planning at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. This webinar will help Trust & Estate planning professionals keep up on estate planning changes over the last year.

The event is free to those who which to attend and will include lunch. To register, please contact Bruce Clark at 563-370-2145 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . CLE credits are available for attendees. Special thanks to Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Quad City Bank and Trust, and Wells Fargo Private Bank for sponsoring this event.

About the speakers:

Ann Burns is the Chair of the Trust, Estate and Charitable Planning group at Gray Plant Mooty. Her practice focuses on estate and charitable planning, business succession planning, estate and trust administration, and fiduciary and tax litigation.

Ann graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and clerked for the Honorable Donald R. Ross, on the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She is a frequent lecturer at national estate planning conferences and has been quoted in the New York Times and Forbes magazine. She chairs the board of a private client family office and is a member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the Board of Trustees of The Minneapolis Foundation

Samuel Donaldson [J.D. University of Arizona; LL.M. (Taxation) University of Florida] is a Professor of Law at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Georgia State faculty in 2012, he was on the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law for 13 years. During his tenure at the University of Washington, he was a five-time recipient of the Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year award from the School of Law’s Student Bar Association.

Professor Donaldson is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a member of the Bar in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Among his scholarly works, he is a co-author of the West casebook, Federal Income Tax: A Contemporary Approach, and a co-author of the Price on Contemporary Estate Planning treatise published by CCH.

Rock Island Library Library Hours for Saturday and Labor Day PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:40

(Rock Island, IL) The Rock Island Library's Main Library location, 401 19th Street, will be closed Saturday, August 30 due to the Rock Island Gran Prix race in downtown Rock Island. The Rock Island Library's 30/31 Branch, 3059 30th Street, and Southwest Branch, 9010 Ridgewood Road, will be open from as usual on Saturday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

All Rock Island Library locations will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day. Locations reopen at 9:00 Tuesday, Sept. 2.

For more hours and events at Rock Island Public Libraries, visit the library website at, follow the library on Facebook or Twitter, or call 309-732-7323.

Founded in 1872, the Rock Island Public Library serves the area through three locations, which include the Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches, community outreach efforts, and online opportunities that provide resources to enhance personal achievement and stimulate the imagination.


Governor Quinn Opens State-of-the-Art Police Forensic Laboratory in Belleville PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dave Blanchette   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 12:57

New State Police Building Provides Forensic Capability for Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Agencies

BELLEVILLE – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local officials to open a new State Police Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory in Belleville. The facility will provide the Illinois State Police (ISP) and police agencies throughout the region with enhanced crime-solving abilities. The event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of all people in every community across Illinois.

“Our law enforcement agencies must have the best resources available to investigate crimes and arrest offenders,” Governor Quinn said. “This facility gives local authorities access to the very latest tools and technology to help them conduct investigations more efficiently and effectively while protecting the safety of the people of Illinois.”

The 64,000 square-foot, $41.6 million forensic laboratory, funded by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, includes state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for crime scene services, trace chemistry, drug chemistry, polygraph, latent prints, firearms and forensic biology/DNA testing.

The facility is located on land purchased in 2007 from Lindenwood University. The construction project was administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees all non-road state-funded construction projects.

“The new forensic lab will meet the infrastructure requirements of today's highly technical scientific equipment and serve our most important clients – the victims and their families,” Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said.

For more than two decades, the Illinois State Police had leased 15,000 square feet of renovated office space as its laboratory in Fairview Heights. The rented space could no longer accommodate the agency’s technological changes, casework growth and staffing needs.

“This lab will give police and prosecutors better tools to advance justice and avoid improperly arresting and convicting innocent people,” State Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) said. “This project is thanks to a fruitful partnership between the state and Lindenwood’s Belleville campus, which will improve educational opportunities for its students.”

“This new facility will make it easier for Illinois’ police officers to do their jobs,” State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) said. “The state-of-the-art technology will also provide the most effective tools in assisting local and state investigators and ensuring public safety.”

The Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.


CSG Executive Committee OKs Resolution Supporting All Domestic Sources of Energy PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Council of State Governments   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:39

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA--The Council of State Governments' Executive Committee has called on the Obama administration and Congress to establish a national energy policy that promotes all available domestic sources of energy.

The resolution, approved Aug. 13 during the CSG National and CSG West Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, comes in response to proposed new Clean Air Act rules that will require modified, reconstructed and existing power plants to reduce carbon emissions. The resolution states the regulation of retail electricity sales and local distribution should be left up to the states and that each state is responsible for ensuring a reliable and affordable supply of energy.

The resolution urges state policymakers to develop comments on the rules by the Environmental Protection Agency's deadline.

The executive committee also adopted a resolution dealing with a proposed rule to redefine "waters of the U.S." that could significantly increase the cost and regulatory requirements of state and local governments. That resolution calls on full consultation and engagement of state governments in any process that may affect management of their waters.

It also asks the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay redefining the waters of the U.S. rule until after an economic analysis and a Science Advisory Board review are completed.

The proposed rule, the committee believes, would apply to all programs of the Clean Water Act and subject more activities to permitting requirements, analyses and mitigation requirements. The resolution states that the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not consider the impact on the full range of programs affected or the economic impacts to small businesses.

The executive committee also adopted resolutions:

  • Supporting recognition of the EMS Personnel Licensure Compact known as REPLICA;
  • Supporting the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, known as SARA, which addresses distance learning;
  • Requesting Congress and the federal government to pursue opportunities to protect intellectual property, reduce fraudulent theft and protect American businesses and consumers;
  • Urging Congress to pass reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank before the current authorization expires in September;
  • Recommending each state's elections website provide specific information for military personnel and other U.S. citizens living overseas and that each website link to the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance program; and
  • Commending the National Conference of State Legislatures on 40 years of service to the states.

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